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Should all spells work differently in PvP?

I play the only class with a damage-dealing ability that works differently in PvP. Colossus Smash is apparently so potent in PvP, entirely because yet again it's reducing armor, that it has to function differently there. Now, in response to a forum thread asking why all spells aren't balanced separately for PvP and PvE, Ghostcrawler responds.

Ghostcrawler - Why are we not balanced this way?
We do this already. Look at abilities such as Colossus Smash and even the concept of PvP CC durations, which has been in the game for a long time.

It's not our option of first resort because it's not intuitive for players and it means anytime we want to make balance adjustments, we must change two sets of numbers.


This leads me to consider: Should it be more common for abilities to work differently in PvP and PvE? I'm sure we all agree that the other guys' abilities should, but once I start mentioning an ability that you actually use in PvP, you may suddenly feel differently about it. I'm not going to pretend I loved the Colossus Smash change, but I understood why they did it.

Right now in PvP, it's a fairly short list for what works differently -- stuns, CC, Colossus Smash -- and I suspect that as much as I'd love for Vanish to not work in PvP, there are all sorts of reasons why it shouldn't be different. It's not just a question of forcing people to learn two versions of an ability, one for PvP and one for PvE, and it's not just forcing the developers to balance two sets of numbers. But with 11 classes and 34 possible specs to balance in PvP and PvE, adding this kind of complexity wholesale leads to a potential nightmare.

Yes, we'd like it if frost mages could have more damage in PvE without making them unstoppable gods in PvP (you make the joke if you want to), but you have to consider the cost in terms of having to balance frost mages twice going forward, especially with the new talent system intending to give all mages access to a more individual toolkit.

Honestly, I'm not interested in picking sides in this debate. I'm more interested in fostering it. How far should PvP/PvE balance go? Should all spells have a separate PvP and PvE balance? Or is it already too much with CC functioning very differently in PvP and PvE? Where would you draw the line?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP

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